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You've heard of WordPress websites. What's the big deal?

Websites can come in many shapes and sizes. The most popular are called CMS – Content Managed Systems. Typically a web design agency such as Oxygen will build the site, and you can then edit the text and add pages as your business evolves.

One of the technologies here at our offices in Devon and Somerset we use is WordPress. It was originally created as a blogging tool, but has spawned into a full functioning CMS framework. OK – what does this mean for you?

I liken it to baking. Several years ago the instant cake mix was launched – but it flopped. Then the industry relaunched it with instructions to add an egg. Then they literally sold like hot cakes. Why? Because the public felt they were making a contribution to the baking process.

You can look at WordPress in the same way.

What does Oxygen do?

• We provide the hosting and install the WordPress framework
• We visualise what the site might look like, including the functionality you need. This could include photo galleries, contact forms, animations and sliders, e-commerce and much more.
• We give you some one-to-one or one-to-group training on how to use it, and can populate some of the pages for you.
• We can set up some useful tools to help the site get noticed, such as Google or Bing webmaster tools, Google Analytics, Google Adwords etc. We also offer full search engine optimisation of you need it, and spam prevention.

What can you do?

• We recommend that you populate much of the content i.e. you add your own text and photos. It helps you learn how to use the site and makes that process more memorable.
• You can source and add your own plug-ins and modules. There are thousands available – some are free, and some have a small fee. For example, you may want a search engine optimisation plug-in; Twitter feeds; statistics packages; or even spell checking plugins to make sure your content is good quality.

What about ongoing support?

We can help with this too. We offer support packages and even a support page on our website where you can ask for help.

Our hosting comes with a robust service level agreement which assures you of speed, bandwidth and back-up – including free email hosting.

And because we’re ISO9001 and ISO27001 certified, you’re assured of the highest standard of quality and information security.

How much does it cost?

The design and build of a WordPress site can cost from just £1500 plus VAT. The cost really depends on the level of functionality you require – and an average fee is around £3000. Our superfast, highly secure hosting is £300 plus VAT per year.

It’s a small investment for a really flexible website solution that is loved by Google. In fact, this Oxygen website is built using WordPress, so that’s a good testimonial for its effectiveness.

Steve Lodge :Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.